It has been several years since we last reported on the growing use and popularity of content marketing as a core strategy among B2B marketers. Back in 2012, the creation and use of compelling, relevant content was still in an experimental and learning stage for most B2B marketers. At the same time it was starting to gain significant momentum and claiming a growing percentage of marketing budgets.
Fast forward to 2015 . . . according to the Content Marketing Institute's and Marketing Profs' fifth annual 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends survey, content marketing has grown from "just a creation and distribution of content tactic into a formal discipline," and the latest data reflects continued momentum.
Key findings include:
- 87% of B2B marketers are using a variety of content marketing tactics. 47% indicate that they have a dedicated content marketing group and another 15% plan to create one.
- 70% are creating more content than they did a year ago, with 42% publishing content daily or multiple times per week.
Source: Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs. 2015 B2B Content
Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Survey.
- The average number of content marketing initiatives used to achieve marketing goals has increased to 13, up from 8 in 2012, with Infographics showing the biggest jump in usage year over year from 51% to 62%.
- 30% of the overall marketing budget, on average, is allocated to custom or branded content and 84% plan to increase their content marketing spending during the next 12 months, up from 60% in last year's survey.
Respondents use content marketing for a variety of purposes, but brand awareness, lead generation and customer engagement are the top three. Social media content, and especially content delivered through LinkedIn, is the top content marketing tactic used by B2B marketers, followed by e-newsletters, articles on websites, blogs and various others such as case studies, white papers, videos, etc.
In spite of the growing momentum, challenges remain. B2B marketers continue to struggle with creating enough engaging, high quality content and doing so consistently. Plus they have difficulty finding enough trained content marketing professionals and struggle to measure the effectiveness and ROI of their content marketing efforts.
Finally, it is noteworthy that the survey findings show that those B2B marketers who have a documented content management strategy and follow this strategy closely are more effective with content marketing across the board. For additional details and insights on these and other survey topics, a copy of the 2015 study is available via the Content Marketing Institute website.
As always, we welcome your comments and questions and the opportunity to dialogue with our readers.